Promise made by God

God gives a reason for us having hope. The hope that we have allows us to be men and women of God in the midst of trying times where we feel we might not want to give honour, or subdue to the temptation of flattery or worse, be afraid of someone.   Even as our hope may be strong, we must remember to still be men and women of virtue, not chargeable with any open vice or profaneness, and sound in our faith.  These things to do not justify us before God, but they give us our reputation around people.

The hope of the resurrection of the dead and eternal life can be found in the Old Testament ( Job 19:26-27 ) ( Isaiah 26:19 ) ( Daniel 12:2 ).  Funny how the Jews had brought a prisoner to a Roman judge accusing him of a belief they all had.   

And now I stand here on trial on account of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors, a promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship day and night. It is for this hope, your Excellency, that I am accused by Jews!  Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead? – Acts 26:6-8

God Loved the World

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Dwelling in hope

David, though a person of the Old Testament, was one who had a quiet, firm and full hope of the resurrection of the dead and of eternal life and glory.

Hope and confidence in God delivers a joy to the soul, a gladness that is found in speech and a quietness that comes from a body absorbed in peace.  To be destitute of the help of God can only result in sorrow and torment.  Trusting in God delivers us, and fills our hearts with joy – one that is promised, one that we can be full of, and one that cannot be taken away from us. It means that we fall under the protection of God – it is because of this that we are still anxious and tremble – for we still have sorrows, but in the midst of them we can rejoice for there are no troubles so great that can break the peace that God gives to us.  The promise of the resurrection goes one step further – the hope that is promised to the soul is also made to the body – so God protects them both.

That is what makes a Christian’s definition of hope – it is not a wish – it is a solid, concrete promise that is based on God’s Word.  

So Peter, noticed something in David’s writings too.  As David was expressing his own hope in God, it would seem that he expressed things that only the Holy Spirit could have expressed.  David saw things far into the future regarding the promised Messiah knowing somehow that he would still have the opportunity of experiencing something more in the future.

For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;  therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope.  For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy Holy One see corruption.  Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou wilt make me full of gladness with thy presence.’ – Acts 2:25-28

Great is Your Faithfulness – Martin Smith

Living in hope

The world considers that the righteous are not worthy to live in the world, and God declares the world is not worthy of them. Though the righteous and the worldlings widely differ in their judgment, they agree in this, it is not fit that good men should have their rest in this world. Therefore God receives them out of it. The apostle tells the Hebrews, that God had provided some better things for them, therefore they might be sure that he expected as good things from them. As our advantages, with the better things God has provided for us, are so much beyond theirs, so should our obedience of faith, patience of hope, and labour of love, be greater. And unless we get true faith as these believers had, they will rise up to condemn us at the last day. Let us then pray continually for the increase of our faith, that we may follow these bright examples, and be, with them, at length made perfect in holiness and happiness, and shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father for evermore. – Matthew Henry

What is the object of this patient hope, our Christian hope – it centres on the promise of entering the presence of God in His heavenly realm – the fulfillment of a life given to following God in obedience – it is the promise to all believers of an unshakable eschatological Kingdom.

Think about those faithful men and women of God who lived during the OT – they could not receive this promise.  They had to wait until we received it as well. That promise was fulfilled when Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice providing the atonement necessary for our sin.  It was His blood that set us free. Today we are filled with His Holy Spirit, and have the privileges of communion with God and are sustained by the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of our own bodies ending with our final entry into the Kingdom of God.

So while faith is the object of a chapter in Hebrews, all those named therein may seem to have one thing in common – faith – true, but they lived in hope. That was the basis of their trust – looking to God to one day redeem them and in some cases they knew He was going to reward them. Faith was not about immediate fulfillment, it was the fulfillment of a promise. Here faith is tested most – where it matters most.

Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised,  since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

– Hebrews 11:39-40

Joshua Price – Living Hope – Live

Living in Hope

Living in Hope